Bill of Rights Facts

Bill of Rights Facts
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States are referred to as the Bill of Rights. James Madison introduced the amendments to the 1st United States Congress, and adopted on August 21st, 1789 by the House of Representatives. They came into effect on September 25th 1791 as Constitutional Amendments. The Bill of Rights covers the freedoms that were not indicated in the United States Constitution, including freedom of speech, religion, free press and free assembly, among many others. In the first 150 years of its existence the Bill of Rights did not have much impact on judicial decisions, but many decisions made by the Supreme Court in the 20th and 21st centuries have been based on its contents.
Interesting Bill of Rights Facts:
The first amendment covers an individual's freedom of speech, religion, and the press; the right to assemble and the right to petition the government.
The second amendment covers the right to form a militia and to keep and bear arms.
The third amendment covers an individual's right not to have soldiers in one's home.
The fourth amendment covers an individual's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The fifth amendment ensures that no one can be tried for the same crime twice. No one can be forced to testify against themselves (self-incrimination). No one can be punished without the due process of law. People must be paid for property taken for public use.
The sixth amendment ensures people have a right to: a speedy and public trial, to legal counsel, trial by an impartial jury, and to confront their accusers.
The seventh amendment is people have the right to a jury trial in civil suits exceeding $20.
The eighth amendment provides protection against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.
The ninth amendment means that the rights listed cannot infringe upon rights not listed in the U.S. Constitution.
The tenth amendment states that power not given to the federal government through the Constitution or prohibited to the states by the Constitution is reserved for the states or the people.
The Bill of Rights was created to limit government, ratify the Constitution and to set forth the rights that were important to the Founding Fathers and the people they represented.
There were three men who refused to sign the Constitution on September 17th, 1787 including Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, George Mason of Virginia, and Edmund Randolph of Virginia. They refused to sign because there was no Bill of Rights.
In the original Bill of Rights, 'people' were only considered to be land-owning white men.
Women were not given the right to vote in all U.S. states until 1920.
Native Americans were not given full American citizenship until 1924.
Black Americans did not receive equal protection under the law until 1868.
James Madison wrote the first draft of the Bill of Rights, borrowing many ideas from several sources including Virginia's Declaration of Rights, Enlightenment ideas, and the English Bill of Rights. It underwent many revisions before it was ratified.
The Bill of Rights is on display in Washington D.C. at the National Archives.


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